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Legislative / Regulatory

Every year, the Maryland General Assembly considers upwards of 2,500 bills of which as many as 700 or more may become law. And all this happens during a 90 day session! MRN advocates on behalf of the Maryland recycling community to ensure that legislative initiatives achieve their stated goals in a cost- and time-effective manner without creating unintended consequences that hobble our mission to promote a healthy, sustainable environment. If you're not a member, please support our efforts by joining today. Click here to see membership options.

2019 Legislative Update: Here are relevant bills under consideration.

HB0109 / SB0285 Environment - Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Products – Prohibition: Prohibiting a person from selling in the State a certain expanded polystyrene food service product on or after January 1, 2020; prohibiting certain food service businesses and certain schools from selling or providing food in certain expanded polystyrene food service products on or after January 1, 2020; requiring a county health department to impose penalties of up to $250 for certain violations; requiring a county health department to notify the Department of the Environment of certain violations; providing a certain waiver; etc.

Status: Passed Enrolled
MRN Position - Support with Recommendations 

HB0125 Solar Photovoltaic Recycling - Establishing a solar photovoltaic recycling fee; requiring a person installing a solar electric generating facility in the State to pay the fee beginning October 1, 2019; establishing the Solar Photovoltaic Recycling Fund; requiring 20% of the first sale price of each renewable energy credit sold to be deposited into the Fund; providing that the purpose of the Fund is to provide funding for technologies and processes that assist with the recycling of solar photovoltaic systems; etc.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters

HB0134 Environment - Single-Use Plastic Straws - Use in Restaurants - Prohibiting, beginning January 1, 2020, a restaurant from providing a single-use plastic straw to a customer dining in at the restaurant unless the customer requests a straw; and providing the Act does not apply to restaurant services provided at a drive-through window.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Economic Matters; Withdrawn

HB0257 Civil Actions - Immunities - Donated Food - Providing that a nonprofit corporation, organization, or association may
not be liable for certain acts or omissions relating to donated food;
and applying the Act prospectively.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Judiciary; Withdrawn
MRN Position - Support

HB0492 Procurement - Carbon-Intensive Foods - Requiring the Maryland Green Purchasing committee to publish a list of carbon-intensive foods, in consultation with the Department of the Environment and the Department of General Services, and to establish best practices for units to reduce the volume of carbon-intensive foods purchased to the maximum extent practicable as a percentage of gross food purchases; establishing as a goal for the Department of General Services a reduction, to the extent practicable, of the volume of carbon-intensive foods purchased by State procurement units; etc.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Health and Government Operations; Withdrawn

HB0502 Environment - Office of Recycling - Mattresses and Box Springs
- Requiring the Office of Recycling within the Department of the Environment to provide to local communities certain encouragement, information, and examples relating to certain programs that divert mattresses and box springs from disposal in landfills and incinerators and that recycle or reuse mattresses and box springs; and requiring the Office, in coordination with the Maryland Environmental Service, to include in a certain report certain information relating to mattresses and box springs.

Status: Failed in Senate
MRN Position - Support 

HB0510 Composting - Food Waste - Acceptance for Final Disposal
- Prohibiting the owner or operator of a refuse disposal system from accepting loads of separately collected food waste for final disposal unless the owner or operator provides for the composting of the food waste.

Approved by the Governor - Chapter 366
MRN Position - Support with Recommendations

HB0511 Maryland Commercial Fertilizer Law - Definition of Soil
Conditioner - Alteration - 
Altering the definition of "soil conditioner" to
include the digestate produced by anaerobic digestion for purposes of the
Maryland Commercial Fertilizer Law.

Approved by the Governor - Chapter 367

HB0539 Environment - Reuse of Water Diverted From Septic Systems
- Authorizing a person to use reusable diverted water on the site on which it originates for beneficial purposes, including gardening, composting, lawn watering, irrigation, and toilet and urinal flushing, in accordance with certain requirements; and defining the term "reusable diverted water" to mean water that is generated by backwashing an on-site water treatment system or using an ice maker and collected for reuse instead of discharged to an on-site sewage disposal system.

Approved by the Governor - Chapter 368

HB0954 Agriculture - Commercial Compost - Prohibition on Per Ton
Inspection Fee
- Prohibiting the Secretary of Agriculture from adopting
regulations to establish or impose a per ton inspection fee on commercial
compost distributed by a private entity in the State.

Approved by the Governor - Chapter 178

HB1142 Environment - Hazardous Materials - Disposal of Synthetic Turf and Turf Infill - Requiring a person to dispose of synthetic turf and turf infill only in a certain hazardous waste facility or closed-loop recycling facility; prohibiting a person from incinerating synthetic turf and turf infill; requiring the Department of the Environment to establish a system for tracking the chain of custody of synthetic turf and turf infill; requiring the Department to publish the chain of custody on its website; etc.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Environment and Transportation; Withdrawn

HB1166 Howard County - Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags Ho. Co. 04-19 - Authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of the fee to not more than 5 cents for each disposable bag used; defining "disposable bag" as a plastic bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale; requiring the county to use certain revenue only for a certain environmental purpose or the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the fee; etc.

Status: Passed

SB0183 Recycling - Lodging Establishments - Notification to Guests - Authorizing an owner, an operator, or a manager of a lodging establishment to provide recycling for guests; requiring an owner, an operator, or a manager of a certain lodging establishment to provide a certain notice to guests under certain circumstances; specifying that the method of a certain notice be at the discretion of the owner, operator, or manager of a certain lodging establishment, subject to a certain requirement; providing for certain penalties for a violation of the Act; etc.

Status: Unfavorable Report by Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs; Withdrawn

SB0370 Environment - Recycling - Commercial Properties - Requiring a county to address, in a certain recycling plan, the collection and recycling of recyclable materials from commercial properties that are occupied by commercial entities with a total of at least 200 full-time employees; requiring owners of certain commercial properties to provide for recycling for the employees on the properties on or before October 1, 2021; providing for a civil penalty for a certain violation; providing for a delayed effective date for a certain provision of the Act; etc.

Approved by the Governor - Chapter 500
MRN Position - Support with Recommendations

SB0563 / HB1419 Zoning – Special Exceptions – Construction or Operation of Landfill - Requiring a local governing body, on application by a property owner for a certain special exception to construct or operate a landfill, to require the preparation of an environmental justice analysis at the expense of the property owner; requiring an environmental justice analysis prepared under the Act to include certain descriptions and assessments; and providing for the application of the Act to charter counties and Baltimore City.

Status: Unfavorable Report by House Rules and Executive Nominations; Withdrawn

For more information on status of bills, visit Maryland General Assembly home page.

Click here for a recap of the 2018 legislative session. 

Click here for a recap of the 2017 legislative session.

Click here for a recap of the 2016 legislative session.

Click here for a recap of the 2015 legislative session.

Click here for a recap of the 2014 legislative session.

Click here for a recap of the 2013 legislative session.

MD Recycling Laws "On the Books"